At 8pmET, FNC’s Brit Hume announced, “The polls have now closed in Mississippi and Fox News projects that Barack Obama has indeed won the Mississippi primary.” It would be 19 minutes before the second cable network called it, and eight minutes more, for the third.
Keith Olbermann called the race at 8:19pm. NBC’s political director Chuck Todd was on at the time, making it the third time a race has been called while Todd is on the air explaining why the race, to that point, hadn’t been called. “You just did it again,” said Olbermann.
As the polls closed, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer did a head fake, announcing, “We are not, repeat, not ready to make a projection in Mississippi…but right now Barack Obama is doing very, very well.” Blitzer explained, “we want to get some real numbers coming in” before calling it. They did, at 8:27. “We wanted to wait…be safe, rather than sorry, which is always smart when you’re doing these kinds of things,” Blitzer said.